Request for Proposal
Status: RFP is Closed

Non-invasive Stress Detectors

Request Number
Due Date
Nov 13, 2018
Program Manager


Technology licensing, Joint development, Supplier agreement, Consulting

Opportunity to partner with a multi-billion dollar North American retailer


Phase 1 – Review of submissions: Q4 2018
Phase 2 – Testing of proposed system(s): Q1 2019


All funding decisions will be made jointly with the client.

RFP was closed on
Nov 2018

RFP Title


Non-invasive Stress Detectors
RFP Description

NineSigma, on behalf of a major North American retailer, seeks proposals for technologies to obtain quantifiable data of the cognitive function and mental stress encountered during the performance of various discrete, work-related tasks.


NineSigma’s client operates thousands of retail locations across North America. Each day, team members are tasked with completion of at least one of more than thirty different roles, including responsibilities such as:

  • Receiving & fulfilling orders from customers
  • Backroom order preparation
  • Equipment usage & cleaning
  • Anticipating order volumes & responding accordingly

Each task has a pre-determined plan of action that defines the steps & responsibilities expected of the team member completing that task.

The client is undertaking this effort to quantify the mental complexity of each task. The goal is to compile a comprehensive data set for all tasks, as currently envisioned, to serve as a benchmark for future improvements. Then, as new tasks, products, or equipment are introduced to the retail location, the client will have a basis for comparison to determine whether the change results in a negative or positive impact on mental burden.

While the goal is to identify technologies which can provide this quantification effort, the client is also interested in hearing from experts in this field who can provide meaningful guidance on the availability, selection or implementation of equipment to achieve this goal.

Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2
Client will consider for advancement an approach that meets performance criteria with acceptable economics and pathway to commercialization. The client prefers technologies that are already commercialized but will also consider approaches with a suitably short timeline to commercial readiness.

Key Success Criteria

The successful technology must:

  • Be minimally intrusive
  • Be minimally visible to customers
  • Not impede the team member’s execution of job functions
  • Be easy to use:
    • For the individual team member
    • For the team deploying the system
  • Provide quantifiable data regarding the mental stress of the team member
    • Client is open to all metrics indicative of mental stress
    • Data output should be easily interpreted by laypersons
  • Be durable
    • Team members sometimes work in hot, cold, humid, or wet environments

The following are also of interest to the client:

  • Technologies that can correlate mental stress with physical activity
  • Technologies that can differentiate between subjective decisions and memorized ones
Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Wi-fi enabled sensor nets
  • Adaptation of existing bio-feedback devices
  • Adaptation of existing fitness monitoring devices
  • Adaption of existing driver awareness technologies
  • Novel sensors
  • Sensors which measure stress pre- and post-task
    • Validation of data sets would be expected
Approaches not of Interest

The client is open to all technologies capable of delivering the desired performance and mental stress data.

Items to be Submitted

Your response should address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology and working principle
  • Availability of technical data including
    • Metric monitored
    • Data supporting the validity of that metric
    • Ease of use
      • For the team member
      • For the team deploying the system
    • Visibility to customers
  • Technical maturity of the approach (concept, reduced to practice, prototype, ready to commercialize, ready to implement, commercialized)
  • Pathway to commercial scale including timing, estimated budget, and capacity for manufacture
  • Estimated unit cost of technology
  • Position on intellectual property including patent references
  • Desired relationship with sponsor
  • Team description and related experience


Preferred Collaboration Types
Area of Interest